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5 yr old breasts developing (precocious puberty?) advice please!

(17 Posts)
poblet Thu 23-Jan-14 23:22:19

I took DD age 5 to GP last week. She's had a sore right nipple since well before Christmas. The nipple went dark first, but has since become a bit paler again, and more filled out. The GP said there is a small lump, like her breast is developing, which could be due to early/precocious puberty or something else, and is referring DD to the local hospital for further investigation. Does anyone have any experience of this in a 5 year old?

I've scared myself by Googling and seen info about tumours causing breast development, and hormone injections for early puberty, and would love some info from people who have been through the assessment/referral process & can tell me what to expect. A lot of the info online relates to older children - 7/8/9 year olds.

Also, does anyone know of any very simple books or websites about the very early stages of puberty that I could use with DD just to reassure her that breasts changing happens to other children too, if she asks? I hope everything might go back to normal by itself without ever needing to get as far as needing a book (till at least 8-9yrs old!), but would love recommendations that I can be ready to buy/show her online straight away if she asks or is upset.

Her left nipple has started to be a bit sore today too sad

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

Zhx3 Fri 24-Jan-14 16:00:09

When she goes to the hospital, they may check her blood and urine, also perhaps do an ultrasound scan of her womb and kidneys to check for adrenal tumours.

She may have something called premature thelarche (, which is not true puberty, and may only require monitoring until she reaches the "normal" age for puberty to start (I think it is around 8 years old nowadays).

My DD started to display the signs at 5 - she is now monitored every 6 months by the hospital, no further intervention.

Good luck.

SoonToBeSix Fri 24-Jan-14 16:06:48

My dd was the same age three. She had an ultrasound of her ovaries and bone age scan of her hand. It turned out just to be isolated breast growth and nothing to worry about.
Dd is now nine and she has only slightly above average breast size for her age.

poblet Fri 24-Jan-14 20:39:40

Thank you both so much. Very reassuring!

poblet Fri 24-Jan-14 20:41:45

The hospital 'choose and book' letter arrived this morning, and we've booked an appointment for 24th Feb, so a relatively short time to wait. Fingers crossed.

SoonToBeSix Sat 25-Jan-14 00:05:49

Hope all goes well.

poblet Sun 09-Feb-14 11:45:07

Since original post, both DD's boobs have both stopped hurting, but are looking more developed - breast buds there. I have also noticed BO smell. Things are changing so quickly, which is probably not a good sign (according to Google searches - probably not helpful, I know!!). I haven't pointed out to her that she has noticeable little boobs there & smelly armpits. She's told me a couple of times that she doesn't need to go to hospital because her boobs have stopped hurting (without me mentioning the issue at all). She's clearly anxious about the hospital appt. Can anybody suggest what I can say to her? How do I explain that we need to go to hospital even though they've stopped hurting? I can't tell her that we're worried that she's entering puberty ('growing up') without talking about what that means. Should I do that now, before we go, or would it worry her more? She's a bright little girl and will understand and remember what the consultant says to us and asks us re: other signs & symptoms of puberty. I don't want to tell her too much beforehand, because it will worry her, but equally I don't want to tell her too little. If she asks questions I will give her honest answers, but how can I prepare her? The hospital will need to run blood tests at the very least (probably bone X-ray and possible MRI of brain too, as I understand it). How do I explain that to her???

Worried mummy...

paddyclampo Mon 10-Feb-14 14:40:26

Bribery worked with my DS when he had to go to hospital and for blood tests. He had lumps in his neck and wasn't keen on going, he kept telling me that it was just that he'd swallowed peas!

I just told him that hospitals were good places and that sometimes people went, not because they are ill but to stop them getting ill in the future. That seemed to work with him.

Also the doctors and nurses in paeds are very very good at reassuring them.

quietlysuggests Mon 10-Feb-14 14:46:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PandaNot Mon 10-Feb-14 15:08:49

I was diagnosed with precocious puberty at the age of four because of similar development to your daughter. I was monitored six-monthly until I started my periods at age 10. It was explained to me just as 'growing up too quickly' which made sense to me as a child. I noticed I grew hair earlier than other children but actually it didn't affect me at all. I understand they thought of hormone injections of some kind at one point but they weren't necessary and things actually moved on at a relatively slow pace despite the early start iyswim.

poblet Thu 13-Feb-14 20:48:21

Thank you all so much. Bribes, and hospitals being places to stop people getting poorly, all sounds good to me!

DH and I are a bit below average height. DD's height has always been above 50th centile, weight between 50th & 75th (certainly not obese though!) but I have a feeling they've both jumped up recently. I've lost count of the number of people who've told me she's shot up since Christmas, some of them have told me several times!! I've had to buy her lots of new clothes. She is also starting to have a bit more 'padding' around her belly & bum.

Since my last post, I've noticed she has pubic hair! It's fine, fair hair, but hair nonetheless, and not what you'd expect for a 5/6yr old! Things feel like they are moving so, so fast.

DH and I are despairing of DD's behaviour - so snappy, grumpy, moody. She's had some friendship issues at school too. We now realise it's likely to be a hormonal effect.

Thank goodness there are only 11 days (and counting!) until the hospital appointment. My anxiety levels are ridiculously high. I'm trying very hard to keep things in perspective, but it's on my mind constantly.

Panda your message gives me hope, thank you. I'm really pleased for you that you made it without needing hormones. Fingers crossed my DD will be the same.

I'd still like to find resources to explain the whole 'growing up' thing, so DD can see it's normal, just happening too soon. All the books & websites are understandably aimed at slightly older children and move very quickly on to periods and sex/relationships, whereas I would like something focussed on the early stages, and feelings, friendships etc. Any ideas anybody? I have trawled the web, Amazon etc. I've reserved a couple of books from the library and thinking I might just photocopy the relevant pages. Hmm...

Dosey Thu 13-Feb-14 21:39:50

Has you pr gp mentioned breast buds to you. My dd 7, has one on her right breast. Apparently it's a hormone surge and nothing at all to worry about. Our gp was very reassuring.

itsbetterthanabox Thu 13-Feb-14 21:53:02

The living and growing DVD by channel 4 learning is what schools use to teach children from 4 to 11 about puberty, relationships and sex. The puberty part might be of help to you.
Also Speak to the school and see what education they will be giving the children on puberty.
I started growing breasts at 7 then body hair and started my periods at ten. I know I was a bit older then your dd but it was all fine.

poblet Sun 16-Feb-14 18:59:31

Thanks I'll investigate that DVD. Do you think it's available to buy?

As far as I'm aware, school don't teach anything about puberty till Year 5 or 6. DD is in Year 1. That's the problem we're facing.

Dosey, DD started with a breast bud but things have changed since then - see my latest replies.

Zhx3 Tue 18-Feb-14 23:00:25

Hi OP,

I've explained it to dd as her growing up a little more quickly that others too. I explained that grown-ups get hairs on their bottom, she seems ok about it. I use a Dr Organic roll-on for her underarms in the morning, as I don't want children picking on her for any odour. She doesn't do swimming at school, but I'm not looking forward to when she has to get changed in front of her classmates. It's not immediately obvious at the moment, hoping it stays that way.

Hope it goes ok at the hospital. My dd was very shocked and upset when they took the blood. My friend took an ipad for her dd when she had a blood test. I wish I'd prepared her a little better for it. Sometimes I think about taking her to watch me giving blood, so that she sees it doesn't cause harm... but I'm a fainter so it might not be the best idea!

LatinForTelly Wed 19-Feb-14 12:55:07

Hi poblet, not sure if you've come across the child growth foundation which covers premature sexual maturation - including precocious puberty - as one of its condtions? They are a very helpful charity, with a helpline etc. Their boards are a bit quiet now but they have a closed facebook group, which you can ask to join.

One of my DC has a condition which can involve precocious puberty, and there are two sorts of drugs which can be used to delay it, if it is deemed necessary.

I hope you get some help and guidance for your daughter.

poblet Wed 19-Feb-14 22:56:05

Thank you Zhx3 and Latin.
I had forgotten that DD has watched me have blood tests on a few occasions (my brain has turned to jelly!!!), so will talk to her about that at the hospital when the time comes. I've decided not to mention blood tests beforehand in case they aren't done on the day. I will, however, take the advice about taking an iPad!!!

Good to know about the Facebook group, thanks

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